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WTM 2012: Carsten Kraus gives insights into the semantic search

World Travel Market 2012:  05-08 November 2012

Visitors to this year’s World Travel Market in London had a chance to participate in a particularly interesting seminar, namely in “Search Engine Update 2012”. The host Paul Richer, Senior Partner Genesys invited three prestigious experts: Carsten Kraus, Founder & CEO of FACT-Finder, Nate Bucholz, Industry Head of Travel Google UK, and Andrew Jones, Head of Account Management Search Yahoo! UK. The speakers discussed how quickly the appetite for online travel booking is growing and highlighted the latest developments in online and on-site search engines.

According to Google’s own statistics, 60 percent of all travel this summer was booked online, and this figure is only going to grow. Optimized search engine marketing continues to have the biggest impact on the sales of online travel portals, despite the growing importance of social media. Potential customers click more frequently on travel portals which have made to the top ranking in organic search listings or use keywords with the highest return on investment.

But when the visitor arrives at the website, only one thing matters: usability. That is the main point of Carsten Kraus’s presentation. The semantic free-text search opens up entirely new possibilities for the travel industry. Instead of using drop-down menus to select individual criteria, customers search as they got used to search on the Internet: In their own words, in a single search field. This leads to an increase of the conversion rate, as customers book this way three times faster.

See the video of the presentations:

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